After a disgruntled case manager was denied paid time off, he took to TikTok to document the unbelievable exchange. But he never could've imagined the reaction he was soon met with online...
Meet Damion Draper, a self-titled "life coach for children, adolescents, and young adults." Before his viral exchange, he had been working in the field for years. Draper was a hard worker - who, like many of us, simply needed a break.
The Texas native elaborated to Newsweek he worked as a case manager for adolescents and children for two years before shifting over to work as a crisis clinician with both children and adults. A job of that nature can be very demanding, so it's understandable how he was eager for some time off.
A Simple Favor
As Damion saw it, his need for a paid vacation was long overdue: the life coach had worked for the same company for 7 years and had built a genuine relationship with his employers. So when requesting time off, Draper didn't think twice about it…
Seeing as he has worked for the company as long as he did, Draper earned more than enough hours to request paid time off. So, the life coach put in his request for two vacation days - but let's just say he was more than surprised to hear his supervisor's response.
Draper recalled there had been a few issues with the administration denying vacation days in the past, so upon further consideration, he ended up requesting leave without pay. However, upon making the request, his supervisor quickly shut him down.
"Administration never contacted me or seemed to care why I was requesting the leave without pay," Draper revealed. "Their lack of compassion was just unacceptable." He was stunned. The loyal employee's request was denied, with no explanation or empathy whatsoever.
Weighing His Options
Sure, he knew staffing had been difficult in his department that year because of "inconsistent supervision." But he figured two days would be okay. After his supervisor denied his request, he recommended the employee "explore the option of switching shifts with someone in order to take off" those days.
Employees were typically required to submit their time off dates two weeks in advance, but the administration could either confirm or deny the requested vacation days until that week. As he saw it, how was anyone supposed to plan anything with such tight rules and regulations?
The Final Straw
As surprised as Damion was by the denied time off, he wasn't going to sit back and let nothing happen. He was determined to find the perfect solution that would require little talking and a whole lot of action. He knew what he needed to do to make a statement.
Draper had been working for the same company for so many years that he felt that with all his time and effort, he deserved some respect. But when his supervisor denied those days, he felt the exact opposite. It was the final straw. And as he saw it, there was only one thing left to do: quit.
That's right - Damion Draper quit. Enough was enough. He couldn't believe his supervisor denied his simple request, and he knew the only way to get that vacation and the justice he deserved was to walk right on out. So, that's exactly what he did.
Draper didn't even try fighting for the time off. He knew the second he received that e-mail he was simply going to send in his resignation. And just like that, after 7 years of hard work and dedication, Damion walked right on out. But his story was just getting started.
Much Bigger Problems
However, being denied vacation wasn't the only reason Draper handed in his resignation. Draper revealed he had previously filed reports of discrimination by his supervisor, but nothing ever came from it. So, upon his sudden farewell, his boss texted him to ask that he speak with the HR department to tie up loose ends.
Although he didn't want to meet with HR to discuss his employee termination, he decided it was best to do so. "I provided this feedback because if there is any chance I can aid someone who has felt the way I did, I was going to take the time to do so," Draper recalled.
After sitting down with HR, Draper knew he did the right thing by speaking his piece. If there was any way he could help a future employee get some rightfully deserved respect, he wanted to join in and help. The life coach was eager to make a change.
When speaking to Newsweek, Draper told the news outlet he hoped other companies would use their time to gain compassion for employees instead of the opposite. "It doesn't matter how many letters you have behind your name or how much money you have in the bank," Draper shaded.
“I Did What Any Texan Would Do”
The life coach was also quite the TikToker. @DeeDraper23 on TikTok took to the social platform to inform his followers that he was finally quitting his job after so many years in the same place. He also uploaded a hilarious video of him dancing right on out of the office.
The Texan vlogger uploaded a hysterical video of himself dancing out the office in a somewhat unofficial goodbye. He definitely wasn't sad about his departure. "My supervisor denied my vacation time, so I did what any Texan would do. I quit and walked out like this," he explained.
The unapologetic TikTok showed Draper dancing out of the office on a chair in the breakroom in one clip while dancing next to an office chair in another. And to finish it off, he danced on a medical exam table before he made his exit down the hallway - one last time.
So why was Draper able to quit on the spot without thinking about a backup job? For most folks, becoming jobless in the blink of an eye would cause endless concern. Luckily, Damion already had a backup plan - something he'd actually been cooking up for quite some time.
As Damion further explained on TikTok, there was another reason why he was able to quit stress-free. "I quit my job today after 7 years because my business started making me more money than my job in less than a year," he revealed about his side-hustle.
The former employee continued, "cheers to anyone who owns a business," and "keep grinding" with a little dancing emoji. According to Damion's TikTok, he "currently has different brands related to mental health" and is living that CEO life. Love to hear it.
But Damion wasn't the only one excited about his latest chapter. Shortly after sharing the risky video of his resignation, Draper went viral. In fact, since the clip was uploaded earlier this summer, @DeeDraper23 has racked up over 700,000+ views with tons of comments.
But how did the online world view it? Were they eager to support his bold decision? Or perhaps were they unable to see things from his point of view? To put it simply, people couldn't get enough of the Texan native and his unapologetic behavior.
Getting a 2nd Opinion
The comments continued to pour in with users supporting Damion's decision to resign! One supporter commented, "I be quitting when people be asking for a reason or for a doctor's note for proof of why I called off… like you are not my parents lol."
Another user dropped a light-hearted comment, writing, "PTO stands for Prepare The Others - Cause I. Ain't. Coming." Another user chimed in to write, "Me letting you know is a courtesy, I'm still not gonna be there." So it sounds like everyone was on the same page here.
Putting Himself First
But the comments didn't stop there! People were applauding the TikTok star for leaving his position in such a fashionable manner. One user wrote, "Big facts! Now y'all short staffed," and another wrote, "People [are] putting themselves first in 2022!!"
In the midst of all the comments, someone asked Draper how far in advance he had asked for these days off, and his response was even more shocking. The case manager turned TikTok star gave his supervisor more than 35 days of advance notice - and still was denied.
Ignoring the Haters
However, there were some comments that doubted Draper's actions. One user didn't actually believe that he had quit his job after what happened. "Lol, you ain't quit," they wrote, to which @DeeDraper23 had a lot to say! The employee had made it extremely clear he walked out in total style.
Draper decided to make another video to prove that he did quit and that all of the hype around his resignation wasn't for nothing. Damion put in years and years of his life to work for a company that didn't appreciate him at the end of the day, and he made it clear he was done.
Airing the Receipts
Draper immediately responded to the user who dropped the shady comment to share a video showcasing his official resignation letter. The letter was seemingly dated June 29, the same date that he uploaded the viral video of him dancing out of his office.
As Damion further explained, he was more than ready for the next phase in his life. And the user who didn't believe him got a rude awakening when they saw that not only did he quit, but he had a successful self-starting business to fall back on.
Back Against the Wall
"Not only did I quit, I told them F you in the most professional way," the disgruntled employee explained. He also added the hashtags #knowyourworth, #knowledgeispower, #haveavoice, and more alongside the link to his coaching website, rejuvenatedlifecoaching.com.
As seen in his letter, Draper wrote he was "grateful for the last 7 years of making meaningful relationships with many peers and consumers" and apologized for handing in his resignation with such short notice, but that he needed to do what he needed to do in order to move on from a toxic environment.
In addition to the denied time off, Damion included in the letter that there were "many things" he would like to say to the company after his time working there. But after resigning "effective immediately," he felt that anything he said held "no merit" with the company.
Draper expressed he felt "undervalued, belittled, discriminated against, and not respected as a clinician" in his resignation letter. He continued, "I will only say that this organization serves many Black and brown individuals yet has no incentive in place to hire or retain more Black and brown employees."
The Company's Reaction
Draper added that he felt "discriminated against" and that even in his resignation, his words meant nothing to them. The former employee wrote that he felt this way due to "inconsistent supervision" in his company, and the absurd turnaround would be the company's downfall.
The former employee went on in the letter to say that "as long as someone's EGO is allowed to lead, individuals expected to provide care in such a demanding environment," the turnover rate will remain high. He simply wanted to ensure no one would receive such treatment in the future.
No More Bullying
Damion's letter was clear that he felt "undervalued" as an employee and that during his several years at the company, he felt completely mistreated in his position. With a job as demanding as his, there shouldn't have been a day that went by without him feeling appreciated.
The letter continued, "I just pray that administration stops allowing supervisors to bully employees who have invested so much time and effort into the organization." Damion really just wanted to make it clear to his employers that although he was quitting, he wanted what was best for those to follow.
Damion finished off the emotional farewell. "I pray that you all are blessed and reach your full potential with or without the help of this organization," he wrote. He also noted that the company should practice more "compassion" and overall the "compliance will improve."
Obviously, the online world had a lot to say about this detailed resignation. After all, the brave Damion left everything out in the open. He made it clear that although he was dedicated to his job, it was the supervision and organization of the company that ultimately led to his departure.
Feeling the Love
Upon hearing his letter, users were in full support of Damion's decision to leave the company. And they made sure to let him know! The online world is full of haters sometimes, but sometimes it's also full of some pretty supportive people! One TikTok user praised, "such a professional..."
"I love that for you," the user continued, showing a lot of love for the former employee. Another user agreed with Draper, writing, "employers really think we won't leave," with a laughing emoji next to it. So clearly, many others have been in a similar position.
People were impressed with Damion's decision to leave, and the love kept on pouring in. His audience was stuck on the idea that his former company wouldn't allow him to take just two days off and kept leaving hilarious comments indicating that they totally relate.
TikTok users were also in complete shock that in 2022, people were asking for time off. One user noted, "Whew, I really feel for those who have 2 ask 2 be off," and another added, "I wish more companies understood how 2 manage better. It's 2022. I'm not asking; I'm informing."
Blessing in Disguise
Despite the whirlwind of emotions, Damion seemed to be better off without working for his old company. It took him asking for time off to realize that he no longer could tolerate such situations - but he realized that was just the icing on the cake after years of working in a toxic environment.
And after sharing the entire exchange for strangers across TikTok, @DeeDraper23 was given that extra boost he needed to confirm his feelings. At the end of the day, it wasn't worth working for a company that didn't value him - both personally and professionally.
Where Is He Today?
As for what the courageous CEO is up to today? Well, according to Draper's TikTok account, he currently owns "different brands related to mental health" and is working hard to help various people in all capacities. We love to hear it! But that's not all.
Draper built his own brand, Rejuvenated Life Coaching, where he offers both 30 and 90-day life coaching sessions that provide "continuous mentorship & accountability." The life coach assists "families to share in this experience of growth together" and further build relationships.
A Better Tomorrow
As for what 'life coaching' truly calls for? According to Damion, "When you not only want clarity on a situation but it is your intention to move through it step by step in efforts of being a better version of yourself in the near future," it is time to find a life coach!
And clearly, Draper could be the perfect match. Having a teenaged child himself, the father turned life coach focuses on providing assistance to youth and their families. But upon sharing his current whereabouts online, it seemed he was not alone…
After reading Damion's experience, audiences from all over the world chimed in to tell their stories of how they were also denied vacation days, which ultimately led to their resignation. As it turns out, this is happening way more than we could have imagined.
People shared their experiences on both Reddit and Glassdoor, accumulating tons of comments and shared experiences. One Reddit user commented on the "Malicious Compliance" forum that although he had enough vacation time for his honeymoon, his supervisor still denied his request - which, too, resulted in him quitting!
The Malicious Compliance Forum
The Malicious Compliance forum on Reddit, which has around 2.6 million people, is a shared place for "People conforming to the letter, but not the spirit, of a request." The forum has thousands of stories from people who want to share their work experiences and are looking for similar stories along the way.
One man took to the Reddit forum "Antiwork," a subreddit thread for those who are curious about ending work, to write their resignation immediately upon hearing the department had formally denied their request. Another user chimed in, saying she walked out of the office after her boss refused her vacation!
Experts Weigh In
Clearly, no one is alone when it comes to denied vacation time. According to the United States Bureau of Labor Statistics, the average vacation days is 10-14 days/year - but what happens when someone is flat out denied their vacation days? Well, Glassdoor has a few tips.
Lois A. Krause, MBA. shared a few tips to Glassdoor on what employees should do when their vacation request is denied. Krause shared that timing is everything, and the employee should request time off after finishing a successful project, for example.
According to Krause, an employee who was rejected time off may professionally ask their manager why their request was denied. The employee is entitled to the days off if they can show their supervisor their work is up to date and completed before taking time off.
However, if an employee went through all the necessary steps and their time off was still denied, Krause recommends going to "request a meeting with HR to investigate why you have been denied." She suggested to "ask for the policy to be explained again to you and ask the best way to proceed in this case."